“God is good. He sent many good-hearted people to help us recover. One of them is World Renew.”
Six years ago, in November of 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines. Record-shattering winds peaking at 195 mph / 315 km, storm surges, and flooding left over 6,300 people dead and over 11 million displaced across several islands. “There are cars thrown like tumbleweeds,” said a UN observer, “and streets strewn with debris. The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.” In fact, Haiyan ranks as the deadliest storm to ever hit this Southeast Asian nation of over 7,000 islands.
World Renew has been on the ground in the Philippines since Haiyan struck, first meeting the immediate emergency needs of survivors assisted by the Christian Reformed Church of the Philippines and then embarking on recovery and reconstruction efforts, working with World Renew staff. Now, after 77 months of work that directly benefited 30,000 people and 40 community-based organizations, World Renew is officially concluding its Haiyan Response program, a program that one local official called a “a demonstration of deep concern to humanity and the future generation.” With an investment of $11,285,295.34 (CAD) including $2,400,000 (CAD) in matching funds from the Canadian government, caring donors made a significant impact in reconstruction efforts.
“Together with the communities involved, we reached the goal of restoring, empowering, and protecting the livelihoods of some of the poorest and most vulnerable of those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. We thank God for the opportunity to serve with so many good people from government, academia and communities.”
Director, International Disaster Response, World Renew
World Renew was able to show God’s deep concern for His children in the Philippines because of your support. None of the tremendous, life-giving impact of our Haiyan response would have been possible without the generosity of World Renew supporters.
In the immediate wake of Haiyan’s ravages, World Renew provided emergency relief: medical supplies, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, bed sheets and towels, and food. We also began to offer psychosocial support in the form of group sessions, one-on-one therapy, and even playgrounds for children needing a reprieve from the trauma of their storm-wrecked daily lives.
From there, we entered the reconstruction phase of our work. We began replacing small but critical household-income assets like fishing boats and animals, as well as recapitalizing small businesses — all to help those who could begin re-establishing their livelihoods. With your support, we constructed safe, permanent shelters built to withstand typhoon-level winds, including permanent cyclone resistant homes for almost 1,392 families and two community daycare centers, all while employing local masons and carpenters and training them in skills marketable in the future.
“We thank God for the many global funding partners and the local stakeholders that participated in the restoring and even transforming of lives.”
Senior Program Manager, World Renew
What a blessing to see farmers and fisherfolk learn to sell products made from their catches and harvests – including organic farms – building resilience for the long term. And, it has been another great joy for us to watch newly empowered women starting up their own businesses and brands to earn their living. We established savings and credit groups (CoMSCA, Community Managed Savings and Credit Associations), allowing members the opportunity to save, take and offer loans, and build credit collectively. We worked with local governments to formulate policies to protect marine fishing areas and farming industries.
World Renew is “one of the few NGOs,” notes Philippines Program Manager Jeff Cosico, “that started in the relief phase and stayed for years.” We were able to do this because of the generosity of our supporters. Their gifts fortified vulnerable communities, preparing them for and protecting them from future challenges.”
So we join with Jeff when he says, “Salute and hats off! We let them smile again and we did it together!”